How to cope when your extended family doesn’t appreciate pets 39



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They say movies can be disastrous if production involves children and animals, and Christmas time is often no different. Many of us treat pets as part of the family, but when extended relatives come to stay, this can create friction. Here are some classic pet problems you may encounter during the holidays, and advice on how to best overcome each scenario.

1. Pets as unwanted house guests

If you already have animals of your own, or need a pet-free environment for health or preferential reasons, relatives who bring pets to stay throughout Christmas can pose a problem. To avoid potential conflicts, it’s best to confirm whether pets will be accompanying your relatives on their holiday. If your relatives plan on bringing their furry companions along, it’s not unreasonable to request the pets get boarded elsewhere. You may even be able to help this process, by sourcing reputable boarding kennels within your local area.

2. Your pets aren’t used to children 

You might love when your grandchildren stay for the holidays, but your pets might not feel the same way. Older cats and dogs are not the best at adjusting to little people. In this scenario, the safety of your grandchildren must come first. Unless you are certain your pets won’t scratch or bite, it might be best to keep them in a secure room. Your pets will also feel safer and calmer in a quiet room of the house, when excitable grandchildren come to visit.

3. Relatives who have allergies

This is a common conundrum when people meet pets. Remind your relatives there may be animals present during Christmas celebrations, and advise allergy sufferers to bring along appropriate medication. Cleaning your house before extended family members arrive will also mean the environment is free from aggravating pet hair. Animals can bring great joy, especially during the festive season, and these simple steps will ensure everyone has a Furry Christmas!

Do pets join in your Christmas celebrations? Would anyone in your family prefer that animals are not present?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My grandchildren got along well with my pets, now I do not have pets, but my grand pets and I get along well when I visit. Pets are family members. I do think if visiting people need to be mindful of this. I can’t have pets in the retirement village but I love visiting four legged family members.

  2. I feel much the same as the comments before me but must admit a couple of years ago when we had an important occasion with several family coming to stay, including a young baby , for my own piece of mind I put my spoilt very friendly fox terrier into boarding kennels while everyone was staying. that way I wasn’t worrying the dog was going into rooms, rifling suitcases and running away with things as she was liable to do.

  3. We have 3 very very spoilt and well loved pets but family come a very close first, we have a lock on inside laundry door and lock back laundry door our “babies” can run around outside but when they had had enough can go in there out the way, to rest oh there is a doggy door!

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